Sunday, June 15, 2008

Walk #7

(You have my apologies for the poor quality photos. I used a camera this morning that I’m not used to, planning to get better pictures, and the result was not good!)

Left the house a little earlier this morning; went past the Seven Eleven to get coffee and a doughnut. On the way out, the clerk told us to have a nice morning. As we went through the door, Gary started laughing and said, “When have you heard that lately?” Those of you who know us will see the humor in that!

As we drove up the dark street, we talked about how funny it would be to stop by our friend, Sanibel Bonnie’s, waking her with an invitation to go on the ‘Turtle Walk’ with us. After thinking that over, we decided it might only be funny to us, so we went on.

When we reached the beach access, it was still dark. We ate our doughnut and drank coffee for a few minutes, then headed out to the beach. It was just barely light enough to see where we were going. I noticed a sign, just across the boardwalk, that I hadn’t seen previously. It was a ½ mile marker, which is the distance from there to the lighthouse. As we walked out onto the sand, you could hear and feel it crunch under your feet. I think that was because of the hard rain we had yesterday evening. The water was really calm and a nice, cool breeze was blowing.

Just after starting out, we nearly walked into a huge hole with two more holes inside of it. The whole thing combined was at least 3’ deep. I guess nobody told those people that you’re supposed to fill those things back in before you leave the beach. There were 4 or 5 more holes along the way, before we got to the lighthouse.

There were a lot of birds out this morning. I suppose they were looking for breakfast. I saw, 'I LOVE DADDY' written with big letters in the sand; a surprise for Father's Day, no doubt. We only saw one couple walking on the beach, looking for shells, but there was only a smattering of small ones.

Once again we walked back and forth, picking up trash. (I chuckled to myself, thinking that we probably looked just like those sandpipers that run back and forth at the water’s edge. Well, maybe sandpipers in slow motion.) Except for the little plastic shovel, kid’s t shirt and pamper; it was pretty obvious from the assortment we picked up, that there had to be a few parties on the beach last night.

Looking toward the lighthouse, it still looked pretty dark. But, by the time we got to the tip of the island, it was beginning to get lighter out.

It was necessary to go around by the path again. While walking through there, I heard the cries of an osprey. I looked up and there it sat, on a dead tree. There are quite a few dead trees in this area; probably remnants of Hurricane Charley. The ospreys sure seem to love them. I heard more osprey screams; louder than before. I looked toward the sounds, to see an osprey nest high on a pole with several birds sitting on it, impatiently waiting for breakfast in (bed) nest. I got a picture just as, what I thought to be a parent, landed on the nest with their food.

As I walked past the two plaques and was taking a picture, I smelled a jasmine that was in bloom. That sweet smell certainly gets your attention and draws you closer.

Back on the beach again, it was hard to walk for all the tree roots etc. that are partially buried in the sand.

I heard more osprey sounds, looked up to see another nest near the fishing pier.

When I looked back, I noticed a heron on the other side of the walkway. Then I heard something at the pier; as I looked around, a man’s pole was bent over and he was pulling a pretty large fish in. I just wasn't fast enough with the camera to get a picture before the fish was flopping on the pier. There were several people fishing there this morning.

An ibis and a heron walked back and forth searching for food, while three pelicans dove for theirs. I love watching the pelicans splash as they hit the water. As awkward as they appear, I don’t know how they catch any fish.

Walking on, I noticed a shell I liked and bent over to pick it up. Can you guess which one it was? My friends will know!

Now, below you will see a rare find! The highly sought after pineapple rind, has many uses, (Pineapple juice can be taken as a diuretic and to expedite labor, also as a gargle in cases of sore throat, and as an antidote for seasickness. The crushed rind is applied on fractures and the rind decoction with rosemary is applied on hemorrhoids. It also has moisturizing and anti-ageing action, and has an antifungal and purifying effect on the skin.) But I’m not sure what this one’s purpose was, or how it found its way here. Leave it to us to find this instead of turtle tracks.

I zigzagged around some bushes and then took a look back to see how high the sun was.

As I turned around and looked down, I saw this five forked spear, around 7” wide, which looked like it had been buried at sea for years! Do you suppose a fisherman simply dropped it overboard, or could it have belonged to some mythical character?

We began noticing schools of tiny fish just a couple of feet out from the water’s edge. Out a little further you could see more of them making little splashes on the surface. It was surprising that those birds weren’t heading this way. If you look at the picture closely, you can see the fish.

Last week I mentioned the rocks that were piled on the beach in front of a bayside home, and was wondering if they were allowed to block the public beach area. So, it was rather strange when I saw an article about it in the paper yesterday. It seems that you aren’t. But after one of the bad storms, ten or twelve feet of that owner’s property was washed away. So, in order to stop any further erosion, they had rip rap brought in and temporarily piled there until they could get a permit to make some sort of a permanent barrier. I believe they are now going to remove what is there and put something else a little further back on their property, leaving more room for people to pass, on the beach

Just a little more walking, a quick look back at the sun, and it was time to turn onto Buttonwood Lane.

I can’t help but wonder how many years it took to grow the beautiful, tall hedges. Some of the properties have sculpted openings through it for their driveways.

Here’s a cute mailbox with a painting of a ‘Sandman’ that caught my eye. This island has the most wonderful assortment of unique mailboxes!

Flowers and trees are blooming everywhere!

Just before reaching the end of our walk, we spotted another osprey nest.

We didn’t find any new turtle tracks today, but the two nests that are in our zone looked fine. And, we can tell you that the bird population seems to be thriving.

A little 'Turtle Trivia' below......

Did you know?
Caretta caretta is commonly called the "loggerhead" sea turtle due to their overly large heads which is comprised of a horny beak which is significantly thicker than in other sea turtles. A loggerhead sea turtle reportedly grows up to 800 lbs (364 kg) and 3.5 feet long. Their shell is heart shaped, color is a reddish brown color, and the color of their skin is brown yellow.

1 comment:

Tink *~*~* said...

Was the shell you picked up an angel wing, perhaps?